Elon Musk says he will ban iPhone and other Apple devices

X, Tesla and SpaceX boss attacks newly announced features as ‘unacceptable security violation’

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 11 June 2024 18:28
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Elon Musk Declares War on iPhones: Threatens to Ban Them in All His Companies!

Elon Musk says he will ban Apple devices at his companies if the iPhone maker goes forward with plans to use OpenAI technology on its phones.

Apple announced that it would integrate the technology so that when users are speaking to Siri, it will be able to hand off some queries to ChatGPT, OpenAI’s large language model.

But Mr Musk said that such an update would be an “unacceptable security violation”.

“If Apple integrates OpenAI at the OS level, then Apple devices will be banned at my companies,” he wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, the platform he owns.

“Visitors will have to check their Apple devices at the door, where they will be stored in a Faraday cage,” a closed box that stops wireless signals coming in or going out.

Mr Musk’s ban would presumably affect SpaceX and Tesla, in addition to X.

Apple had said previously that the feature would be released later this year. OpenAI confirmed that its technology would be broadly integrated into the operating system.

Both OpenAI and Apple stressed that it would include privacy protections. “Requests are not stored by OpenAI, and users’ IP addresses are obscured,” OpenAI said in its announcement.

The integration will mean that Siri requests can also be sent to ChatGPT. It will be able to hand off questions – as well as documents and photos – for help.

It will also be available within a new Apple system called “Writing Tools”. That allows users to generate content for their writing, or have their documents re-written in fewer words or in different styles.

Apple will also integrate OpenAI’s image generation technology so that they can create illustrations to sit alongside their documents.

All of the features are part of a suite of features called “Apple Intelligence”. While this feature mostly relies on Apple’s own technologies, it also integrates those from OpenAI.

OpenAI chief executive Sam Altman was present at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference, where the new features were released, though he did not appear during the presentation.

Mr Musk and OpenAI have a long and complicated history. He was one of the founders of the company when it launched at the end of 2015 – but has become gradually more hostile towards it, criticising it for failing to live up to its founding principles.

He has since sued the company and Mr Altman, accusing them of prioritising profits and failing to live up to its original mission. In response, OpenAI said that it rejected all of Mr Musk’s claims.

Mr Musk has also had an occasionally contentious relationship with Apple.

In 2022, he publicly attacked Apple and its chief executive Tim Cook over the cut it takes from payments made on the iPhone. Soon after, Mr Musk met with Mr Cook at Apple’s headquarters.

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